Our Team


Richard Harkrader – Founder

Richard Harkrader, an architect emeritus, building contractor, solar installer and real estate developer, founded CSE in 2004 in order to prove that solar energy is good for business as well as for the environment. Through his leadership, CSE built the first utility-scale solar energy project in the Southeast (a 75kw project on the grounds of NC State University that was commissioned in early 2008), and developed operating and in-construction projects totaling almost 500MW by the spring of 2018.
Richard is a lead advocate in North Carolina for renewable energy and energy efficiency. He served three times as Chair of the NC Sustainable Energy Association, and was a founding member of the North Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance. He served for 7 years as the environmental representative on the NC Legislative Study Commission on Electric Utility Deregulation and was instrumental in starting NC GreenPower where he was Vice Chair for 2 years. Richard lives with his wife in Durham, NC.


Carson Harkrader – CEO

Carson’s primary responsibility is to ensure the overall management of Carolina Solar Energy’s business strategy. She took over the CEO role from her father Richard in the spring of 2018.
Carson is also responsible for developing projects and forging finance partnerships. She joined CSE in 2012 after eight years as a Commercial Leader with GE Energy, where she led teams to sell wind and gas turbines in the USA, Canada, and Asia. In this role Carson was the lead negotiator on sales contracts for hundreds of MW’s of wind and gas turbine technology, managing the input of GE’s engineering, sourcing, legal and finance teams into the contract negotiation process. Prior to her work at GE she spent two years in the commercial team at a renewable energy development company in Sydney, Australia, which completed an IPO and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2002.
Carson completed a MBA in Finance and Strategy at New York University’s Stern School of Business and received her BA in Political Science with honors from Brown University.  She lives with her husband and son in Hillsborough, NC.


Christopher Jones – Manager of Project Development

Chris joined the Carolina Solar Energy team in 2015.  His primary responsibilities include landowner relationships, permitting, due diligence, and timeline management for CSE’s projects.
Prior to joining Carolina Solar Energy, Chris worked for Sundance Power Systems in Weaverville, NC as an Assistant Designer for residential and commercial scale installations. Chris was involved in the construction of the first 1 MW project in NC and was then involved with the on-site management of the first 5 MW solar installation in NC while working for Strata Solar.
Chris graduated in 2012 with a BS Degree in Appropriate Technology from Appalachian State University. He lives in Durham, NC.


Tyler Caron – Solar Developer

Tyler joined the Carolina Solar Energy team in 2018.  His primary responsibilities include site selection, initial layout, and project management for new development projects.
Tyler graduated from NC State University in 2018 with a BS in Environmental Technology and Management and completed a summer internship with Strata Solar in 2016. He lives in Raleigh, NC.